The Polarizing Nature of the Russia Debate

Andy Young at Siberian Light has posted a rant to vent some frustration over the constant paradoxical criticism he faces for being both too pro-Kremlin and too Russophobic.  The comment thread below the post is developing into something interesting as well.  I think Andy’s piece highlights a unique characteristic of the current Russian government, in that it tends to polarize people into uncomprehending extremes – something last seen during the golden years of the Bush II era.

The only thing that matters is whether you’re for or against Russia and whether you can consistently twist the facts to meet a twisted worldview.

There’s not a lot of room left for the kind of people who are prepared to accept that a bad government can do something right, and that a good government can do something bad. Or, shock horror, even that a good government can occasionally do something wrong, or stupid.

Over the past few months, I’ve written posts that have both criticised and praised Russia. I write them because I think that Russia is often right, although it’s also far too often wrong.

And, far too often, I take crap from people. Usually because of what they think I have said, in the context of their tiny little world views, rather than what I have actually said, in the context of an entire blog post, or a series of posts.